The Not-Oscars 2016

not-oscars-2016It’s just about Oscar time again — though for once, the Best Picture race isn’t exactly the most disappointing contest I’ll witness over the past year.

At times like these, the Academy Awards feel somewhat frivolous. It’s possible that some likely winners — The Salesman, Mahershala Ali, The White Helmets, OJ: Made In America, and even Zootopia — will have a political charge. We can certainly expect at least a few winners at the podium to speak out against the GOP’s onslaught of intolerance. Still, the main narrative of this Sunday’s Oscars telecast is shaping up to be about escaping these horrors rather than confronting them. I’m finding it difficult to celebrate that.

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The Tens: Best Of Film 2016

jackie-natalie-portman-white-house-tv-camerasAnother year, another awards season.

But this was no ordinary year.

Where to begin, when we speak of 2016? Most years, I just pick my favorite films, and that’s it. But this year, it felt important to really think about these choices, and what they expressed about my feelings this year. That’s not to say I picked a bunch of films I didn’t like as much just because they were “important.” Not at all. But I also know that when I look back at what cinema offered in 2016 many years from now — provided we’re still all in one piece by then — I do want it to reflect the turmoil, the despair, and the utter, unspeakable horrors inflicted upon so many of us over the course of the last year.

Sooo… no, La La Land will not be my pick for Movie of the Year.

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Monsters In Moonlight: The Year’s Best Dramas Come Out To Play

closet-monster_jack-fulton-buffy-stake-vampire-slayerThe “coming out” film has been the cornerstone of queer cinema for at least a couple of decades. For all the progress the LGB… (sorry, I’ve lost track of how many letters are supposed to be attached to that alphabet soup) movement has made in shifting from the niche to the mainstream in that time, movies about these people haven’t changed much.

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Animal Attraction: Monogamy Tested In ‘Bigger Splash’ & ‘Lobster’

A-Bigger-Splash-matthias-schoenaerts-shirtless-dakota-johnson Tilda Swinton is a rock star.

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The Tens: Best Of Film 2006

Pans-Labyrinth-monster-creature-eyes-handsContinuing my retroactive Top 10 lists, this one takes us back to 2006, originally published in my “Confessions of a Dangerous Film Student” column in INsite Boston.

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Return To ‘Oz’: A Minor Desecration Of My Childhood

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL I saw Oz The Great And Powerful earlier this week, and I am pleased to report that it is only a minor desecration of my childhood.

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Still ‘Bourne’: Renner Fills In For A Phantom Damon

As everyone knows, franchises are Hollywood’s bread and butter. Yes, the bread is usually stale and the butter has been sitting out long enough that it’s getting hard on the outside, but that doesn’t matter to your average moviegoer, who generally hates cinematic surprises of any kind. There are movies, and then there are sequels, and then there are spinoffs, and then there are prequels, and then there are reboots, and then there are remakes. We accept this as the standard way of things, the blockbuster circle of life.

So what, exactly, is The Bourne Legacy?

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Trailer Trash: Jeremy Renner In ‘The Bourne Legacy’

There’s a new Jason Bourne movie coming out.

The bad news? There’s no actual Jason Bourne in it — meaning, no Matt Damon. And no Paul Greengrass, either.

The good news? Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, and Rachel Weisz have been added to the franchise — plus the return of Joan Allen. I guess that will have to do!

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